Sunday, December 12, 2010

Third Sunday in Advent

African beasts crafted of raffia.
Glimpses of children, younger, encased in felt starts, sloppily painted frames, metal hearts.
The world clear, then frosted with the lone strand of blinking lights.
Glass, plastic, cardboard coated:
Hickory Dickory Dock
Cindy Lou Hoo
Wake Forest Deacon
Reminders of locales:
Carved tree of redwood
Delicate Eifel Tower
Brightly festooned ox cart
Dark-faced shell angel
Rodeo Santa
Olive wood crèche,
Next to local
Palm Trees,
Hula snowman “Be Merry” and Santa “Put a Little Jingle in Your Step”.
Lights through glistening tears now:
First Christmas Together
First House
Pets long gone
Babies first Christmas, then another. Ceramic booties:
“be careful—they are heavy and breakable!”
Wooden carved Chinese baby, bundled, the long-red tassel broken off and lost.
A paper crafted Jack-In-The-Box from little hands long ago. Mine.
Put it in the back of the tree. It is ugly, but holds a place.
Arks, Angels, Stars, Crosses,
Little fingers crafted popsicle stick Mary, Joseph and Baby:
Sprigs of hay gone long ago.
But I know it was there.
One Christmas long ago.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Better Life

A Better Life

“I pray that I can envision something that is better than the life
I am living” he said.
He said he was a Purple Heart veteran.
He said he pulled people out of burning rubble in Kuwait.
He said he was on Coumadin and an anti-seizure medicine.
He said he had post traumatic stress disorder, but refused to take Prozac….
So they dropped his benefits.
He said his wife committed suicide.
He said he had three kids.
He said his wife’s cousin was taking care of them.
He said the middle daughter needed glasses.
He said the cousin was having a hard time
And the kids might have to go into foster care.
He said his mother and father were dead.
He pointed to the scar on his face.
He indicated where he had a rod in his leg.
He showed me all kinds of medical papers.
He said his purple heart was in a pawn shop because since we turned his back on him,
It wasn’t worth anything more than the money to him anymore.
He said he wanted work.
$100 would do it.
He said he needed to make it to October 16th when he has a hearing to
restore his VA benefits and pay him retroactively.
I held his hands and we prayed……
“I pray that I can envision something that is better than the life I am living” he said.
He might be lying.
He didn’t have and ID to show me.
What kind of veteran doesn’t have an ID?
He didn’t want to me to call and verify his hearing date.
He might be lying. He might not.
If he is lying, I suspect that the life he is living is worse than what he told me.
And what he told me was plenty bad enough.
I gave him $20 from my wallet.
I was going to use it to get a pedicure.

Monday, September 6, 2010



October 18 The Help Kathryn Stockett Grace’s House
(it’s her birthday)

November 15 The Good Daughter Joyce Maynard Tracey’s House

December 13 A Guide to the Birds Nicholas Drayson Nancy’s House
of East Africa

January 17 The Reliable Wife Robert Goolrick Sallie’s House

February 21 The Space Between Us Trity Umrigar Katie R.’s House

March 21 An Altar in the World Barbara Brown Taylor Torri’s House

April 18 Imperfect Birds Ann Lamott Laurie’s House

May 16 Loving Frank Nancy Horan Katie D’s House

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pentecost - Evening Service

Pentecost – Evening Service

Outside - the summer evening light
Hits the font
now with algae on the side of the rough stone.
Running water slips over green.
Inside - flies on the bread tell us this in not poetry, but life.
The love of Jesus Christ until he comes again.
Hover over us.
Commission us.
Send us into surprise -